One hall director at TCU has kept his goals consistent despite the different responsibilities COVID-19 has brought.
Reese Harty, the GrandMarc hall director, said his main focus is to provide a safe and welcoming place for students to call home. Regardless of the pandemic, he wants TCU to remain a place where students cannot wait to step foot on campus.
“To do this successfully, we work to have positive, meaningful relationships with our residents, Resident Assistants (RAs), property partners, and maintenance and facilities teams. This helps to create a place where people feel safe and welcomed to be themselves,” said Harty.
While the goals have remained the same, Harty has taken on some different responsibilities this semester.
For example, he and his staff have tried to make sure students who are in isolation still feel engaged.
“We are more intentional with reaching out to our students who may be quarantining or staying in an isolation space and having programs that have virtual components to allow everyone the opportunity to engage with others if they’d like to, or are feeling well enough to interact with others,” he said.
Inclusive programs such as virtual Zumba classes, social distancing activities and a weekly cookie drop off are among the ways residence halls have been helping students get through this difficult time. Harty said most of the programs have been adapted to a virtual platform so students who can’t participate in person can still stay involved.
“One successful program we do for our students impacted by COVID-19 offers them a ‘Sweet Treat Mid-Week Pick Me Up’ where students can request a cookie from Insomnia Cookies and it’s delivered to their door for them to enjoy and be reminded that there are people on campus who care and are here for them,” Harty added.
Harty said he thinks the current structure and support levels provided for TCU students in residence halls has been working well.
He also said he believes students in his residence hall have been following the new COVID-19 guidelines and have been able to form close relationships with their peers, despite the social distancing requirements.
“Everyone who is currently on campus wants to be here and have the TCU experience they know and love,” he said. “While it may have taken some time for some to adjust to the new policies and guidelines, they know that by following the guidelines they are able to stay on campus and keep not only themselves, but others safe and healthy.”
Though the case count is relatively low on campus, Harty said the residence hall staff will continue to follow guidelines and protocols provided by TCU’s administration based on Tarrant County and CDC mandates.
While the case count may fluctuate, Harty knows that his goals will remain constant.
“While there is so much on-going change, the thing that remains constant is our support and exceptional level of care for our residents,” said Harty.